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Firefighters pray in front of a memorial along the road to Sandy Hook Elementary School, a day after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 15, 2012. Investigators assembled
Late on December 14 2012, following news of a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I published an off-the-cuff diary (title: I have been a gun owner for more than 30 years…http://www.dailykos.com/...). It generated 466 comments and 1083 recommends and remained on the rec list for several days. I don’t know why I did it.  Diary-writing for Daily Kos was not my thing.  My diary was not especially eloquent or informative and offered little new information or new ideas. However, timing is everything and I suspect that the attention that the diary garnered occurred because my expression of anger and shock and frustration and sadness at the horror and injustice of the Sandy Hook shooting simply caught a rising wave of similar reactions among the DK community. I was asked to write a follow-up and I do so with trepidation.

What stands out for me is that my earlier dairy also expressed defensiveness. I offered myself as a responsible gun owner who would be a willing ally in the fight to prevent a Sandy Hook tragedy from ever happening again. I think it’s important to confront that. Upon reflection, I reflexively defended myself as a gun owner and user.

In the aftermath of that afternoon, we learned more about the children individually who were killed, about their heroic and dedicated teachers who were killed, and about the anguished families and community. I am a dad. I come from a family of teachers. I married one. That more than anything should govern my reaction to gun violence in schools.

The face of one dark haired little boy hangs in my memory. He is beautiful, bright-eyed and gifted with a radiant smile full of teeth awaiting the tooth fairy’s claim. His image connects to a story about his mother’s anguish over how to display his body for burial following damage done to that face by the shooter’s bullets. That image and that story hang on my soul like a talisman. I remember when my kids were that age. I remember the feeling of their soft warm faces pressed to mine and feeling their arms squeezing my neck. I cherish that memory and even now I cannot fathom how I would cope if I sent them off to school and then never saw them alive again. I also know intimately the violence that modern rifle bullets do to soft tissue and bone – and I can make the obvious connection. The magnitude of the horror and anguish suddenly forced on this little boy’s mother is beyond contemplation. But I can access a bit of it. I revisit that dark place because, I guess, it keeps the significance of that tragedy salient for me.  My talisman is an amalgam of these things, and it’s heavy.  

My talisman has rough edges. In the past year I’ve worn it to the shooting range with my son and it annoyed, it chafed me during a long afternoon of butchering my family’s venison this fall and I felt it irritate noticeably after Thanksgiving when I saw people lined up and taking numbers at the enormous gun counter of our big-box sporting goods store. It leaves me raw. I could take it off. I could push the Sandy Hook tragedy to the deeper recesses of my memory like I’ve done with the Columbine shooting and so many others that, shamefully, I cannot now recall. But I don’t.  

This is about the culpability we share for a culture where school shootings are too common and selfishness is too entrenched to experiment with policy changes that could make school shootings less likely. I’ve benefitted from easy access to guns and ammunition and while I’ve entertained some niggling doubts that the access was perhaps too easy, I didn’t think too much about it. Using my high school graduation date as a marker, there have been 144 school shootings in my adult lifetime in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/...). It took the shooting in Sandy Hook (number 124) to leave a lasting impression that something is grievously wrong.  I wish I’d said more, …done more.  In the 365 days since the Sandy Hook tragedy we’ve seen much debate and discussion. I participated at first, then lurked, and then grew tired and discouraged. Three prominent threads weave through the discussions: guns and ammunition, mental health, and a culture that celebrates and sanitizes violence.  One never needs to probe in any of these three areas very long before someone feels that their interests are at risk and then responds with belligerence. Mention gun policy or technology and someone with test you for a weakness and dismiss you as ignorant if you get the terminology wrong. If you mention first-person shooter games or violent movies, their enthusiasts will get indignant and direct your attention elsewhere.  Mental illness? Don’t stigmatize.  And lest you dismiss my comments as an intellectually lazy appeal to false equivalencies, know that I have a deep empathy for those who struggle with mental illness and a deep antipathy for those who assert that their rights to free and easy weapons trumps the right of the rest of us to a safe and civil society. We gun users have the most ground to give. I am fed up with the belligerence.

The NRA and its allies have constructed a fortress to enshrine their vision of US gun policy. It will not be breached with the regulatory equivalent of a battering ram. Progressives tried that after Sandy Hook and failed. Similarly, we will not ban private ownership outright and I doubt we will reach the levels of lawlessness that absolutists hope for in their fever-dreams. Calls to hew to those extremes only serve to inflame and provoke. From the position of simple pragmatics, we are left with an incremental approach. First we soften the mortar, then we chip away at it and then we remove and scatter some of the stones, and eventually we rebuild a culture where legitimate private gun use is possible and children are safe. But to do so, we need people of good will to be generous and forward-leaning (be progressive), whatever their starting position. We need to begin experimenting.

On my southbound morning commute, I often meet a school bus in the northbound lane. It’s a wide feeder street with broad sidewalks and good visibility. I am an impatient commuter and the degree to which I hate sitting in traffic borders on the irrational. So when the flashers go on and I watch the children board the bus from the far left side of the road, my analytical impatient id grouses and knows that I could drive past that bus and that the probability of encountering a child on my side of the road would be vanishingly small. Yet the law tells me I must stop. So I do. And I remind myself that the law is in place out of an abundance of caution and recognition for the precious cargo that the bus is carrying. So I smile and wave at the bus driver when she lets me pass, and I get to work two minutes later than I would have otherwise.  We should work towards gun laws that are similarly configured, out of an abundance of caution and recognition of the preciousness of schoolchildren.

I wish I had some wisdom to offer. I wish I knew the key fix that all sides could agree to. But we won’t move the needle on gun violence in this country unless we are mature enough for self reflection and generous enough to put our interests in the balance for the sake of our communities. The families in Newtown deserve at least that much. I’ll be praying for peace for them tonight.

Originally posted to OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Firearms Law and Policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (195+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, DRo, Gardener in PA, burnt out, cheminMD, blue jersey mom, Ashes of Roses, bostonjay, reflectionsv37, BOHICA, PedalingPete, nailbender, David54, ord avg guy, lineatus, Lawdog, IndieGuy, Habitat Vic, Naniboujou, wesmorgan1, Portia Elm, gulfgal98, InfraredRoses, Heart of the Rockies, wonderful world, Denise Oliver Velez, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, mamamedusa, Jim R, LoneStarDem, Smoh, Radical Faith, fba1a, The grouch, marleycat, GwenM, tampaedski, Kristina40, citizen dan, bibble, flowerfarmer, Renfriend, PistonMoaned, tobendaro, Tinfoil Hat, Mike Kahlow, annieli, OpherGopher, Sylv, indubitably, dinazina, Glen The Plumber, Mark Mywurtz, badscience, Lefty Ladig, 88kathy, Thinking Fella, Miggles, Joieau, rapala, onionjim, windje, Yasuragi, wdrath, sodalis, Texknight, anodnhajo, wylieSteve, We Shall Overcome, artisan, gramofsam1, revsue, mikeconwell, Lost and Found, LilithGardener, US Blues, tonyahky, dull knife, slowbutsure, aitchdee, doroma, Jakkalbessie, RichterScale, leeleedee, hungrycoyote, Youffraita, daveygodigaditch, Catte Nappe, princesspat, toom, rasbobbo, tapestry, yoduuuh do or do not, Wino, Debby, AdamR510, bluesheep, Ray Pensador, PeterHug, The Marti, orrg1, KayCeSF, Inventor, Tommye, ginimck, offred, Ekaterin, Polly Syllabic, wader, AJayne, LeftieIndie, Siri, pixxer, serendipityisabitch, earicicle, OIL GUY, Meteor Blades, Tommy T, Lurker in the Dark, maggiejean, Oh Mary Oh, jguzman17, Llywarch, i dunno, remembrance, pat of butter in a sea of grits, old wobbly, tb92, ichibon, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, mahakali overdrive, My Spin, Jollie Ollie Orange, Wreck Smurfy, Joy of Fishes, occams hatchet, lady sisyphus, CJB2012, amsterdam, Amber6541, catly, PrometheusUnbound, tgrshark13, Shotput8, Dr Arcadia, Bud Fields, Bluesee, hamsisu, BlackSheep1, Eric Nelson, Lilyvt, translatorpro, ramara, Homers24, SanFernandoValleyMom, hester, Softlanded, Villabolo, tgypsy, tegrat, SoCalSal, asym, davehouck, greengemini, NYWheeler, Crashing Vor, monkeybrainpolitics, Santa Susanna Kid, paz3, DaveinBremerton, denise b, mamamorgaine, ladybug53, TheDuckManCometh, oldpotsmuggler, Larsstephens, AZ Sphinx Moth, Susan G in MN, DerAmi, sostos, peachcreek, ArthurPoet, WakeUpNeo, peacestpete, chimene, Duncan Idaho, sydneyluv, here4tehbeer, OrdinaryIowan, deben, nzanne, Robynhood too, erratic, lotlizard, BadKitties

    Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

    by OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:47:00 AM PST

  •  Not really anything to add except thank you. (49+ / 0-)

    A thoughtful, well-written piece.  Something has to get change started, and though Newtown didn't bring about immediate action in the right direction, I think it did start a long term shift in people's thinking

    Lead your life - don't let your life lead you.

    by lineatus on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:22:13 AM PST

  •  Good diary. I think you're setting out what needs (43+ / 0-)

    to be done first. We have to have a different culture in our relationship to guns. We have to become an adult, collectively, and treat them with the seriousness they merit. We don't have that maturity yet. Guns are instruments of power and powerlessness. We can't afford this anymore.
    When we can get some simple background checks in place then we'll know we're beginning to grow up.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:23:32 AM PST

    •  We need a total ban. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler, Larsstephens

      And we don't need any hunting either.

      Too many animals have been hunted to extinction.

      Lets give the wild animals a break.

      •  No. (12+ / 0-)

        And a total ban on hunting?

        If you get up where I live, we've got way too many white-tailed deer. Since their natural predators (wolves) are gone, their population has skyrocketed with resulting winter kills and disease (CWD).

        Most hunters are responsible. We need them on our side.

        •  We don't need hunters to cull the deer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          We could hire trained people if it is needed.

          We have plenty of deer around here and no hunters.

          Now the only real argument in defense of guns is human overpopulation.  I would hope we have a better solution than indiscriminate violence.

          •  I'm sure the deer will be grateful (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens, Mike Kahlow, FrankRose

            that they guy who shot them was a professional rather than an amateur putting meat on the family table.

            Surely a virtuous society is one where duty and obligation takes the place of pleasure.

            I've lost my faith in nihilism

            by grumpynerd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:11:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, but one of the one hundred thousand (0+ / 0-)

              people shot every year would sure have enjoyed a ban on guns.

              •  Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OldJackPine, Mike Kahlow, David54

                This is maxim from Roman jurisprudence which means “Consequences of abuse of something does not invalidate its usefulness.”

                The idea is that you don't automatically deprive everyone of something because some people are abusing it.  This includes a number of things whose abuse is quite terrible, like alcohol.  You address the abuses first in ways that don't unduly affect the legitimate uses.

                The problem is that people think in black and white. They see slippery slopes everywhere.  It's easy to get them equating commonsense things like no-loophole background checks with total gun deprivation.

                The idea of a total firearms ban in this country is sheer fantasy. Even if you could pass such a law, it would only instantly create millions of scofflaws and a huge black market -- like there is for marijuana, only bigger and more dangerous. But that doesn't matter, because it's all just fantasy. If a ban hasn't happened even after all these school shootings, it will never happen.

                Because of the paranoid, irrational fear of a total gun ban, we can't even reach the low-hanging fruit that would save plenty lives without anything more than mild inconvenience to people who use their guns in a responsible manner. If you want to make progress, stop throwing gasoline on the fires of paranoia.

                Banging the fantasy ban drum in an atmosphere of gun-owner paranoia is counter-productive.  To make progress in gun control, we need to lower the emotional temperature of the discussion to the point where reason has a chance to be heard. We'll never outcrazy the loonies who believe that everyone who walks into an elementary school ought to be wearing a gun.

                I've lost my faith in nihilism

                by grumpynerd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:45:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Contradictions, contradictions (0+ / 0-)
                  The idea is that you don't automatically deprive everyone of something because some people are abusing it.  This includes a number of things whose abuse is quite terrible, like alcohol.  You address the abuses first in ways that don't unduly affect the legitimate uses.
                  Weirdly, this principle you aspouse can be broken quite often by people on your side of the gun issue as long as its something they don't give a shit about, ala video games, movies, etc, apparently, atleast with the diarist, and a few members commenting  here, but I'm not sure of you, but apparently many people in this comment thread do not subscribe to that sentiment, as it was quite clear  that the diarist had to make a beeline for the dead beaten horse of the video game canard, to try to bolstrer his case.

                  So, apparently this princple is only subscribed to when its convenant for the RTBA side, but they'll drop it at the sign of thinking they have an advatage using something else as a scapegoat.

                  •  Appeals to "ban video games" meet the same (0+ / 0-)

                    resistance the commenter is talking about regarding guns.
                    To the extent that our collective attitude about guns is reflected in our video games, we need to look at that.

                    It doesn't mean we have to ban them.
                    There are only two types of person who would posit the idea of a total gun ban::
                    The sincere believer who is totally willing to ignore the magical process that would be necessary to ban guns (and the civil war that would result), and a troll whose just looking to cast incredibility upon Dkos discussions.
                    I admire the total ban commenter for being sincere and expressing an unpopular view, but I think it's very unrealistic at this stage in our development.

                    The only way it will ever be possible for us to eliminate gun violence in our society, is for the culture to mature and set aside the hysteria, as grumpynerd suggests. That will be the first step.

                    You can't make this stuff up.

                    by David54 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:17:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  What is "my side of the gun issue"? nt (0+ / 0-)

                    I've lost my faith in nihilism

                    by grumpynerd on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:13:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I think the deer would be grateful (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Duckmg

              to be just as armed.

              I think it was either Carlin or Michael Moore who had a great bit on hunters wouldn't finding it so "sporting" though the rest of us would if the deer got to shoot back.

      •  Good luck with that. (0+ / 0-)

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:34:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yea, It is better that people go hungry. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike Kahlow

        I hunt although I don't enjoy it.  I garden although I don't enjoy it.  I do however enjoy eating.  

        •  Yeah right (0+ / 0-)

          I am sure you have to hunt to eat.

          And damn few, if any, are going hungry in this country without hunting.  Maybe some Eskimos.

          •  I could probably make it, maybe. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, nzanne, Mike Kahlow, FrankRose

            It cost me 36 dollars for a deer and elk license, another 100 or so for the pork to mix with it, add in gas, ammo etc.  and we have enough meat for the year for less then $150.  We will supplement that with fish that we got this summer and will catch by ice fishing this winter.  I could go buy meat but then there goes the internet service, the t.v. service and a few other luxuries.  I won't lie.  I miss going into a grocery store and buying whatever I want. On the other hand we probably eat healthier then most.

            •  Even if what you say is true, (0+ / 0-)

              and I have my doubts, we don't need  one hundred thousand people getting shot every year so you can have a good deal on meat.

              •  Like I said further down in the comments... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mike Kahlow, FrankRose

                I am not "pure" enough to be a DK member anymore.  I come here and it is just another echo chamber, as bad as anything on the right.

                •  It's not you, RenFriend, it's (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OldJackPine, Mike Kahlow

                  the guy you're responding to who is rude.

                  Hunting is necessary as yes, we have killed off many predators and built over much range and forest of deer and elk. Further, you absolutely do eat better and cheaper by doing your own 'dirty work', and you give the animal a far better life too than critters grown in too-small cages.

                  Good on you, really.

                  The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. (Chlldren's Defense Fund, 2013)

                  by nzanne on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:14:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Don't let the purity patrols get you down. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OldJackPine

                  This site needs the input & perspective of every reasonable progressive.

                  We're here for lots of reasons, for fun, for socializing, for pootie pictures, but mostly for sharing thoughts on how to best get more and better Democrats elected.

                  Hope you stick with us.

                  •  And what purity patrol would that be? (0+ / 0-)

                    The one that demands the Democratic party moves center right? That purity patrol?

                    And how is envoking the almighty slur of "purity" towards those further to the left of you encouraging civil discourse, if anything that's one step away from calling the person a "firebagger" which is thankfully against the rules here, but for someone wagging there boney self righteous finger at me for whatever you claim I was being uncivil about then you have the balls to make "purity" comments knowing that if this was in a more mainstream area of DK and gotten more readers, the shitstorm you were purposely trying to bring be making that ad homiinem.

                    Good job on your hypocracy, "Mike"
                    !!!! Big thumbs up for that one!!!

              •  Maybe I should add what I am for (5+ / 0-)

                I am for background checks.
                I am for a gun registry.
                I am for a ban on hand guns.
                I am for strong training before you can buy a gun.

        •  Even if we have to move to government harvest, (0+ / 0-)

          I have no problem with allowing the persons who used to hunt for subsistence to be the ones to salvage the carcasses.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:04:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your thinking empowers (0+ / 0-)

        the absolutists on the other side.  

        The NERA thanks you for your opinion.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:42:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Think We've Actually Lost That Maturity (11+ / 0-)

      Not to be disagreeable because this is an excellent post but when my grandmother taught me to shoot when I was 8 years old she had that maturity and passed it on to me. Things like a gun is not romantic, not an answer for anything, and not something to play with. A gun is a lethal tool. One that must be respected at all times and carelessness never allowed. And perhaps most importantly it only takes a fraction of a second to pull that trigger but you can never take that fraction of a second back. And I actually thought back then that was the way most gun owners were. But as I look around today I think we've lost that somehow and now have far too many guns in the hands of people who have no business owning one.

      Collect Different Days

      by Homers24 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:27:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree completely that we've lost that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldJackPine

        maturity. If you look at the Westerns of the "50's" and some of the other violence related movies, a major theme of some of the most important ones was the idea of the mature gunslinger who was sick of violence but who would stand up to the bad guy reluctantly, because  he was chosen by fate to be the one.
        There was usually a young punk with an "itchy trigger finger" and/or a local loudmouth trying to organize a posse or a lynch mob, etc.
        These themes were produced with the awareness that many of the adults raising families were veterans of WWII who knew what real violence was like and were sick of it.
        Now gunplay in movies is "magical" , everyone has an itchy trigger finger, and gun advocates are often the immature punks (of assorted ages) with gun lust or the blowhards who could care less how much damage they cause.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:27:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (17+ / 0-)

      Used to be that there was an ethic attached to one-shot kills on game. It demonstrated the intersection of skill, patience, and concern for making as humane a shot as possible. Wish we could recover that.

      Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

      by OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:22:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is still there. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1, OldJackPine, Renfriend

        Where did you get the idea that we 'lost that'?

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:25:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Lost" may be an overstatement. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, Mark Mywurtz, Mike Kahlow

          But it is not a prevalent or prominent as it once was.

          Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

          by OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:41:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I haven't seen that at all. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Renfriend

            Hunting accidents are way down.
            Hunting groups are the most effective conservation groups in the nation.

            I think this is a case of people having a tendency to have a false idea of a 'golden past'.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:53:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Perception Becoming Reality? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, True North, sydneyluv

          [OldJackPine]

          Used to be that there was an ethic attached to one-shot kills on game. It demonstrated the intersection of skill, patience, and concern for making as humane a shot as possible. Wish we could recover that.
          [FrankRose]
          It is still there. Where did you get the idea that we 'lost that'?
          Oh, I dunno, maybe people buying semi-automatic assault weapons and claiming that they were for hunting?

          "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor." ~ Pope Francis

          by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:36:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Semi-autos are used for hunting. (0+ / 0-)

            The existence of semi-autos is as irrelevant to a discussion of 'hunting ethics' as the existence of bolt-action, pump-action, or any other mechanical action is to it.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:43:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you just proved the point above, didn't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero, samanthab

              you?

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:14:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                One shot kills are still the ethic and the goal, but that doesn't mean that proceeding shots aren't still occasionally needed.
                Further, particularly with bird hunting there can be more than one.

                Do you think that the existence of double-barrel shotguns preclude a one-shot ethic?

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:30:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not Quite What I Meant (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero

              I said, "semi-automatic assault weapons," like civilian versions of the AR-15. The increase in sales of the assorted versions of a combat weapon, despite folks claiming to use same to hunt with, is fueling a sense of fear and near anarchy that will eventually lead to political and voter backlash against same. And the ammo for these (generally 5.56 mm /.223-caliber) will sure mess up your meat unless you get a head shot.

              I mean, I have a semi-automatic .308, sometimes it's useful to be able to keep the rifle up when shooting across a distance at large game such as elk. And considering how fast a person can pump a Mossberg, one may as well be semi-automatic.

              No, it's the combat people-killers and their offspring - the public perception of those - that's going to undo much of the Second Amendment as people tire of the blood and dead kids. Folks can go on and on about how most gun murders involve handguns, and that's true, but it's the scary "see how fast I can fire this" and "look how many rounds I can clip on to this" video game look-alikes that will force the issue. Through public perception that gun regulation opposers want this type of weapon everywhere. And that their rights override the rights of those who want to feel safer in public.

              You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

              by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:28:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Back in the fifties, persons using artificial (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coquiero

            aiming devices, like scopes, were looked down upon, at least in some circles. And, yes, you're right, in those same circles, it simply was not acceptable to hunt big game with a semi automatic rifle.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:18:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually it wasn't there even when some of it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero

          existed (and likely still does to some limited extent). I trained in wildlife and fisheries biology in the late sixties, and work some in the field after that. Hunting then, as now, is largely about big noisy "hunting parties", lots of booze and driving around looking for something to shoot. Then as now there are exceptions, but, simply put, most hunters have no spiritual connection with nature whatsoever. I mean, goddamn man, we're in the era of the $100,000 auctioned trophy animal special hunt permit.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:13:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Despite your personal feelings: (0+ / 0-)

            Ducks Unlimited has conserved 13,000,000 acres.

            Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have enhanced over 6,100,000 acres (24,700 km2)—including planting grasslands, restoring wetlands, planting woody cover or food plots and purchased lands to provide habitat for pheasant, quail and other wildlife. This total also includes approximately 400,000 wildlife habitat projects, which have helped pheasant, quail and other wildlife.

            Meanwhile your 'spiritual-connection' has accomplished only two things: Jack and Shit.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:37:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Different subject than the one you started on. And (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero

              I don't blame you for trying to change, because you were absolutely out in left field on the first one. You do jump around. Are you sure you're alright?

              You didn't mention any organization originally, and neither did I. How, then, I wonder, can you pick a fight with me on something I never even mentioned? Probably win a lot of "debates" that way, though, don't you?

              I've never met a true "conservation organization", ever, that I have a problem supporting.

              So now let's get back to you. You're alright with some "Dick Cheney wannabe" getting first crack at all of the choicest publicly owned wildlife, as long as they're willing to pay up for the privilege? Privately owned hunting marshes, clubs, and preserves also do some things for natural populations in general, but I still don't encourage them. I don't know, maybe it's the Democrat in me.

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:13:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Why not single shot? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MertvayaRuka

      In hunting, the first shot is oftentimes the only shot.

      Of course, we should keep in mind that you don't need a gun for hunting.

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:24:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree: if a six-shooter won't take care of your (0+ / 0-)

      needs, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      But I despise blaming guns instead of culpable people, and I think it's wrong to say we should excuse killers because of mental illness or bullying. They're murderers. Sometimes we just have to admit that the human mind works, or breaks, in ways we don't -- maybe even can't -- understand, and go forward from there.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:30:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are talking about what happens after (8+ / 0-)

        the kids have been shot. We can blame the shooter, or we can excuse him because he was mentally ill or bullied in school. Neither one of these responses will bring the kids back to life.

        This diary is about what happens before, to keep the gun out of the hands of the bad/victimized by fate or society person, so that they can't shoot a bunch of kids in the first place.

        Since you recognize that a person with a mental illness can in fact shoot a bunch of kids whether he gets blamed for it or not, maybe you could agree that A can cause B whether society blames A for it or not. The question isn't whether guns are "to blame" for kids getting killed. The question is whether guns play a causal role in kids getting killed. They do. In other countries where people have far less access to guns, people with a mental illness do on occasion attack a school full of kids with some other weapon, like a knife or a machete. They succeed in killing few or no people, because it's much easier to overpower someone armed with a blade than it is to overpower someone armed with a gun.

        The question is how do we prevent people who are likely to kill innocents from having access to guns. We can't prevent it entirely, but we can reduce the likelihood by agreeing as a society that people with schizophrenia, and/or people with a history of domestic violence, and/or people with a criminal history, and/or minors, should not be allowed to have access to guns, and by putting into place universal background checks, with no loopholes for gun shows or private sales, to enforce this principal as law.

        Obviously we should also realize that untreated schizophrenia is a horrible thing, not only for the person suffering it, but for the rest of us as well. Treatment for schizophrenia should be free, and people suffering from schizophrenia should also receive regular, life-long help from social workers to help them stay on a healthy course.

        Ending outrageous economic inequality, the ghettoization of poor and dark-skinned people, jobs that are so brutally exploitative that they fill people with rage, an economy that has millions fewer job opening that it does adults of working age, yada yada yada.... would also do a lot to reduce the likelihood that someone will flip out and decide to shoot a lot of people.

        •  My contention is that even in Paradise (0+ / 0-)

          with no firearms, there are people who will attack and injure, maim, and yes, kill children. Or other strangers. Because the human mind is ingenious even when it's broken, and sometimes that breakage feeds on pain, terror, misery, death.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 10:38:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Beautifully written diary (38+ / 0-)

    Thank you for such a thoughtful diary.  It is ones like this that keep me coming to dkos.  

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:37:49 AM PST

  •  I wonder about how the concept of killing (32+ / 0-)

    as a solution to problems and anger occurs to people.  I have worked with several people who would say "I wish she/he was dead."  As if this was a solution.  that is horrifying to me.

  •  To me, this diary and the one on drones on the (29+ / 0-)

    rec list seem like decent complements.  Whether domestically via guns, or abroad via drones, our culture has a serious problem with inflicting death and destruction, ripping families apart for reasons that gain us little, if anything, apart from the anguish of the victims and their families.

  •  Thoughtful and well said. (27+ / 0-)

    Simply put: You seem to be a member of the very group that MUST be mobilized and given a voice if we are to see reasonable gun control legislation and/or regulation in our lifetime.

    Barring a Constitutional amendment, we will never become the "no guns at all" nation that some would create. Nor, however, can we continue the effective free-for-all of firearms access that is our current state.

    No one denies that there are many responsible, adult gun owners and aficionados among us. (I am one; while I do not currently own firearms, I have owned rifles and shotguns in the past. I also, as might be expected, became familiar with a wide range of weaponry during my military service.) We are the ones who must continue to raise our voices--whether it be in media outlets such as this, our local ranges and gun clubs, or in everyday conversation with our families, friends and acquaintances--for rational, reasonable regulation of a technology that becomes only more deadly with each passing day.

    Every time a gun owner takes this stand, as you have done, the arguments made by the extremist gun owners, the NRA and firearms manufacturers become less relevant. Even if that "one time" is over cups of coffee at a local restaurant, or over a beer at the local watering hole, the word is still spread to others; we make others think, and we force them to put our opinions in terms of the friend or colleague saying them, instead of handwaving them away as "extremist" or "anti-American."

    Keep talking.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:54:57 AM PST

    •  In the past year I've tried to broach those... (9+ / 0-)

      coffee-shop conversations with friends and acquaintances. Some are receptive. Others simply tune out at the mere mention of improving regulation. If you push it they get hostile as almost a conditioned response. It's tough but we need to keep trying.

      Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

      by OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:28:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that (5+ / 0-)
        they get hostile as almost a conditioned response
        exactly what outlets like Fox are designed to do?  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:42:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or it's because people aren't willing to give up (0+ / 0-)

          their liberties for your fears.

          Quick hint: Those influenced by propaganda aren't the ones clamoring to surrender their liberties.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:28:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fears????? (3+ / 0-)

            Those little closed caskets are 100% real, Frank.  

            Much unlike your fantastic fears that the proposed solutions most of us are looking for would have any significant effect on your ability to own and use firearms.  Or the fantastic fears that drive your apparent need for the right to an unhindered arsenal.

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:41:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fears???? (0+ / 0-)

              Those 3000 closed caskets from 9/11 are 100% real, Mark.

              Much unlike your fantastic fears that the proposed solution of warrantless wiretaps, the right wing was looking for would have any significant effect on your ability to own and use a phone. Or the fantastic fears that drive your apparent need for the right of terrorists to have a trial.

              Taking liberties away from innocent Americans isn't the answer in either case.

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:46:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fears??????????????????????? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                Your suggestion that we should give up the good of having our children not gunned down in school in return for the fully imaginary "good" where you prevented 9/11 by not having to have gone through a background check when you bought all your guns, is utterly ridiculous. Or maybe you're suggesting that because you own several assault rifles and a hundred-round drum magazine, 9/11 was prevented? Your presumably extensive collection of guns has never done a single thing to protect us from the 9/11 terrorists or any other terrorist. They have comforted you in your fear, but it takes excellent police work to stop terrorists before they strike. Or, we could try the current solution, which seems to be to kill everyone who might conceivably one day commit a terrorist act against Americans. The only problem is, eventually you've taken every single person in the world and either killed them or turned them into someone who hates America with a passion because we killed their loved one-- and then you die and go to hell.

                •  I never claimed 9/11 was prevented. (0+ / 0-)

                  I simply stated that I didn't agree with using 9/11 as justification for warrentless wiretaps & the erosion of 4th amendment liberties.
                  For the exact same reasons, I disagree with using the acts of Adam Lanza as justification for AWB & other gun bans.

                  I don't agree with using the acts of murderers to infringe on the liberties of innocent Americans.
                  Apparently, you disagree.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:29:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I didn't read carefully enough! (0+ / 0-)

                    Now that your reply made me take a second look, I totally get that your comment was a mirror image of the comment above it, and that I misunderstood your argument. Sorry!

                    But you still haven't really addressed the issue of reasonable gun controls. We don't want the NSA spying on everyone. But no one in this camp is arguing that they shouldn't be able to show a court reasonable cause to suspect that someone is actually a terrorist, and get a warrant to tap that person's phone. We believe that everyone who is imprisoned should either get a trial, or be a prisoner of war treated according to the Geneva conventions for the duration of a war which has an end. But we want that because we believe that good police work is the most effective way to stop terrorism, and that requiring reasonable grounds for suspicion, and investigations that can lead to a successfully prosecuted trial, actually improve police work by cutting down on the amount of time wasted on investigating innocent people. We don't call for it because we think it will help the terrorists.

                    Similarly, we are asking for gun control measures that are carefully targeted and will preserve second amendment rights for the majority of Americans. They will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, people with a history of violence, people with a mental illness that might cause them to have a psychotic episode and kill people, and minors who lack the judgement required to use guns safely. A couple of these groups are not what I would call "innocent Americans." A couple of these groups are "innocent," but we don't allow people below a certain age, or people with an uncontrolled seizure disorder, to drive, no matter how "innocent" they may be. I don't believe that you fall into any of those four groups, Frank, so why are you so frightened that we want to take away your guns?

              •  Push Hard And Resistance Increases! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                My subject line is one of the laws of physics, and could also describe a gun owner dilemma:

                [I have] a deep antipathy for those who assert that their rights to free and easy weapons trumps the right of the rest of us to a safe and civil society. We gun users have the most ground to give. I am fed up with the belligerence.
                I am, as well, and it sure speaks to both a flawed egocentrism and, perhaps, a fear that leads to reason shutting down, that leads certain gun owners to push aside the reasonableness of the majority wanting a safe and civil society.

                Failure to sense irony alert: Belligerent gun owners scare people. Scared-of-guns people lead to more restrictive gun laws as they increase their majority.

                Right now, there are less gun owners and more guns in the US, an increasing trend. . This is a democracy, where votes matter. What could go for absolutist gun owners here?

                "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor." ~ Pope Francis

                by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:06:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is a place where votes matter.... (0+ / 0-)

                  There are three former State Senators in Colorado that are currently pondering that fact.

                  Speaking of 'trends'--support for gun rights have grown for the past 20 years & support for gun control has consistently decreased for the past 20 years.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:12:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Was Referring To Votes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero

                    And soon, maybe not in my lifetime, but still soon, the ability of the NRA to target legislators like in the election you reference will become a thing of the past in many states. And, it's highly likely that the Republicans that won in the very low turnout recall you may be counting on to intimidate citizens going forward will be history, in 2016, if not 2014.

                    I repeat myself: Belligerent gun owners scare people. (Including me!) Scared-of-guns people lead to more restrictive gun laws as they increase their majority.

                    You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

                    by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:36:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  More registered Dems than Repubs showed up (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MertvayaRuka

                      in Colorado.

                      20-30% of those Dems voted for the recall.

                      Giron's district voted for Obama by 19 points.
                      It's not intimidation. It's not the NRA.
                      It is the voters; they don't react positively to being told that they have to surrender their liberties because of the crimes of murderers.

                      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                      by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:49:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Colorado recalls and diffrent strokes (0+ / 0-)

                        Colorado also shares with Washington the status of being one of the only two states to legalize recreational marijuana. I'm sure there are many states where most Democrats think that would be a terrible idea. Colorado is somewhat unusual in being a state where (like Montana and other western states, I suppose) many Democrats have a stand on guns that is more usually associated with Republicans.

                        I get that the Federal Constitution is supposed to insure a minimum level of rights for everyone no matter what state they live in. But I also think the idea of the states as laboratories for democracy is a good one, and that people in different states may have different values and different ideas of what the right to bear arms, or the right to privacy as regards recreational drug use, really means. I understand that African Americans or gay people are not ok with having their right to vote or marry denied because "the culture of our state doesn't hold that as a value." But I think there's something to be said for taking a state-by-state approach to realizing a progressive agenda.

                        So maybe in Colorado they want pretty unrestricted, widespread gun ownership, and are comfortable with lots of people carrying guns in public. But maybe those gun enthusiasts in Colorado could also show a little more understanding for communities like Chicago, where the desires of the majority concerning guns are quite different.

              •  I see (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                what you thought you did there.  

                Why should your opinion of wiretaps matter to me?

                Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:13:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Take away the Second Amendment and the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coquiero

            "liberties" you're afraid of losing don't even exist. They're an atrifical construct.

            You know how "freedom of reproductive choice" was found even though it exists no place explicitly. That result would never happen with guns.

            There are more free people in countries that heavily regulate firearms than there are people in the U.S. population. Scream about that one for awhile if it'll make you feel better.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:34:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Take away a Right, and 'liberties' don't exist" (0+ / 0-)

              Profound thought.

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:42:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  See, you're using that definition of "if I'm not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                allowed to do anything I want to, whereever and whenever I feel like, then life is not fair". There's far more substance to this subject than you, seemingly, have ever been introduced to.

                There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:19:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                  I am simply repeating the nonsense you stated.

                  You want to take liberties away from innocent Americans.
                  Your wants aren't relevant when it come to their rights.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:19:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't have a clue about "liberties" or (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero

                    "rights".

                    I hope you finally grow up to the point of not being so simplistic.

                    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                    by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:51:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Then it is a good thing that both are written down (0+ / 0-)

                      "Liberty--n. pl. lib·er·ties
                      1. a. The condition of being free from restriction or control.
                          b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.
                      2. Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.
                      3. A right or immunity to engage in certain actions without control or interference: the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights."

                      Rights are even simpler.
                      They even made a convenient list of a few of them.

                      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                      by FrankRose on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:59:05 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Hey, I just remembered a place where you can start (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                your education. Look up the legal concept of "Least Restrictive Alternative". Obviously that would only be a begining.

                There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:21:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Predators target young innocents because (8+ / 0-)

    they can take them by surprise and count on them not fighting back. Predatory humans are no different. Since predation is a survival mode, it exists with a significant portion of cowardice.

    "The predator's existence is brutish and short," but however long he lives, it is because he kills first and keeps his distance from obvious danger.

    The gun, like the slave driver's whip is an instrument of threat, to exact subservience and labor without giving anything back. Such tools are necessary to the practically incompetent -- i.e. their talents are limited to making verbal demands and, if those are not enough, they resort to the threat of violence.

    We could probably save ourselves a lot of trouble, if we merely decided that humans deserve to be sustained, regardless. That Americans, in particular, seem to care more for their four-legged pets than for other humans may well be very upsetting. "No free lunch" may be all fine and good, but what if a person has no talent with which to appeal to anyone for sustenance?
    The argument that there is not enough is a myth. Global food production is currently sufficient to provide adequate nutrition to nine billion. Which not only means that one third is going to waste, but that starving people are entirely avoidable.
    We used to laugh at the Soviets leaving potatoes in the fields to rot. What should we do about sending a third of our food production to the dump?

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:34:12 AM PST

  •  This diary said a lot of things I wish I could say (20+ / 0-)

    I too am a gun owner, and have been for over forty years.  Growing up we were poor.  The only meat in the freezer was game and a little pork that was left over from making venison sausage.  I didn't taste beef until the school lunch program.  Through the years times got better, I became a supermarket predator.  However when the recession hit, and we had a job loss, my spouse and I both got our deer and elk license and started hunting again.  Once again I am back in childhood where the food in the freezer was all hunted and butchered by us. When Sandy Hook happened it was a tragedy, it changed America.  I found it hard to be at DK for a long time there seemed to be a bar set for what it meant to be a liberal, whether that was true or more likely the slight sense of shame I had for having multiple guns in my house at the time I don't know. I still mainly lurk and occasionally sign in to up vote something, but I almost never click on gun diaries anymore. I almost never read anything but the front page anymore.

    •  There's a very long hunting season here. (16+ / 0-)

      I hate the sound of gunfire.  It scares my dog silly, and overwhelms me with sadness.  But I know all too well that for most of the local population... if they can't hunt, they don't eat.  Fishing in summer and hunting in winter is all that stands between them and starvation.  Which has kept my feelings about discussions of gun control squarely in the middle.  I hear you, Renfriend, and I'm glad you spoke up.

      I saw the Berlin Wall fall
      And I saw Mandela walk free
      I saw a dream whose time has come
      So keep on dreaming, Dreamer, dream on
      -- Johnny Clegg

      by Yasuragi on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:21:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a liberal. And I, too, own guns. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankRose

      I see nothing wrong with responsible people owning guns. The key word there is "responsible," not "guns."

      I grew up much the same. We didn't hunt large game, but many smaller varieties. We also grew our own vegetables, eating from the pantry as well as the freezer in the winter.

      I also know that, should anyone present an immediate threat to my life in a manner that makes it clear that, no matter what steps might be taken to diffuse the situation, only one of us is going to survive, I would not hesitate to use a gun to stop that person.

      I would hope the sight (or knowledge) of a gun in my hand would be enough to cause any attacker to seek a less violent resolution to whatever issue s/he had.

      •  Maybe, Maybe Not (0+ / 0-)
        I would hope the sight (or knowledge) of a gun in my hand would be enough to cause any attacker to seek a less violent resolution to whatever issue s/he had.
        It may, unless the "other" was crazy, or the police, in which case they may unload on you with no hesitation.

        "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor." ~ Pope Francis

        by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:14:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wikipedia lists school shootings by decade. (13+ / 0-)

    2010s is the highest at 46 in October 2013.

    We have 6 more years in the 2010s. God help us.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:00:18 AM PST

  •  I can't disagree (18+ / 0-)

    With a single word you wrote.  I favor an all of the above approach: stronger sensible gun laws, real mental health care reform, taking seriously the effects of violent media on our culture, and dealing with poverty and the broken social contract that leaves so many in despair.

    You are the gun right extremists' greatest fear:  a gun owner who believes there are actually maybe more important rights than unfettered firearm access and who doesn't buy into the slippery slope theory that giving on any regulation whatsoever will ultimately lead to a de facto ban.  I like to count myself in that category as well.

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:00:46 AM PST

  •  Plenty of wisdom, OldJackPine, in what (14+ / 0-)

    you've said here.  Plenty.

    Thank you, and blessings to you on this sad day.

    I saw the Berlin Wall fall
    And I saw Mandela walk free
    I saw a dream whose time has come
    So keep on dreaming, Dreamer, dream on
    -- Johnny Clegg

    by Yasuragi on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:12:41 AM PST

  •  guns are violent things... (6+ / 0-)

    ...so it come as no surprise that when guns are used...violent things happen. Some folks feel that certain acts of gun violence are fine (killing animals for fun or "sport," for instance; or for self-defense or, perhaps the most benign use of violent weapons: target practice.

    However, the fact is that a gun is a violent weapon, by its nature and by its design.

    The challenge for most people, such as myself, is how we can minimize the killing of human beings with them.

    Just as with laws against murder itself, or against abortion, or marijuana, or alcohol...mere laws will not stop all of the senseless violence caused by guns. The abiding question for our society is this: are there any legislative acts that be helpful in reducing the senseless killing of living beings? That seems to be the search that many in our society are engaged in when it comes to gun laws. It seems to me that modest restrictions (such as making automatic weapons or semi-automatic weapons as difficult to obtain for those who might misuse them makes a lot of sense. And, certainly, trying to keep all guns out of the hands of mentally and emotionally challenged folks seems like a no-brainer. How people can object to the idea of merely checking into people's background to make sure they are not criminals or mentally or emotionally unstable before guns are legally sold to them...seems like an extremely modest thing to do...something which has virtually no impact on a responsible, law-abiding person from owning any gun they wish...with just a short 24-hour waiting period to ensure that they seem to be exactly that (responsible and law-abiding).

    All of the hype about gun controls--on both sides--seems to have brought this country to a standstill as far as being able to even try to do something that might help.

    •  We must be careful how we define "mentally ill" (4+ / 0-)

      In a period of less than 3 years at one point in my life, I suffered some major losses - both of my parents died (not at the same time), my spouse died, and I lost my job. My ability to function normally was, at the very least, challenged.

      My best description for my mental condition at that time was "depressed," and my doctor agreed, prescribing an anti-depressant for me. While I was uncertain of the medication's effect, those around me said I was less "on edge" while taking it. I took the medication for about 4 months and not since.

      My concern with definitions of "mentally ill" is: who do we include? Would that period of "diagnosed" depression so long ago mean I would not be allowed to own a gun now?

      Some medical/psychiatric/scientific research says that mental illness results from imbalances in the brain, implying that those are immutable except with ongoing medication.

      Would we call anyone who ever sought help during a difficult situation "mentally ill?" Were we to institute that, would we not be causing those who need help to avoid seeking it? How would that help?

      I believe a short-term, truly effective solution is not likely. Long term, we need to change our current culture of "violence as a solution to any problem" by redefining socially acceptable/non-acceptable behavior toward one another.

      We need to become the civil society we tell ourselves we are.

  •  It is rather sad to see, even here,.... (4+ / 0-)

    ......people falling for the monumental red herring of "violent media" and "video games."

    The world, by and large, watches the same media and plays the same games. To suggest that only in America do these encourage violence, and that in the rest of the world they have no effect, is frankly ridiculous.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:40:21 AM PST

    •  Right. I'm sure nothing but good (7+ / 0-)

      can come from a nine year old sitting in front of a screen for hours on end blasting realistic-looking people with a virtual glock or assault rifle.  Can you maybe consider why most parents would have reservations about their kid sharing a classroom with some poorly-parented kid who plays online torture games like 666games and and watches extremely graphic horror flicks?  Especially when you consider how available weapons are in this country?

      The people who defend violent video games remind me of the people who defend the meat industry selling that ammonia-sprayed pink slime to consumers--their reasoning isn't very different.    

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:33:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damn, you shot that straw man full of holes. (6+ / 0-)

        Japan has violent video games but very little gun violence.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:46:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Japan, Western Europe and South America (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrFlibble, sagesource, Joe Bob

        All play the same games and watch the same movies. By your logic school shootings should be a problem globally, yet it's almost exclusively an American phenomenon.

        There is simply no evidence to support your argument.

        •  I guess you'll have to choose: (0+ / 0-)

          Do you want to copy those other countries by limiting civilian access to guns the way they do? Or do you want to preserve our unique gun culture, but compensate for that by eliminating the violence pornography that teaches kids ideas that are bad to have in your mind when there's a real gun in your hand?

          Oh and by the way, let's leave Latin America out of the discussion. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be happier living in Columbia or Guatemala or Mexico.

          •  I'd take a look at that "unique gun culture".... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joe Bob, Fieldswithoutfences

            It seems to have a very high price tag attached to it. What are its alleged benefits?

            You're going to resist government tyranny? Give me a moment to fall down laughing and get up again.... Every attempt since the establishment of the United States to resist the US Government by force has failed. Every one since the Whiskey Rebellion. Which makes this argument the exclusive property of losers.

            You're going to use them for "self-defense"? Damn, I fell over again. Give me a minute.... Then why don't you have the lowest violent crime rate in the developed world, rather than one of the highest? Any connection perhaps with having all those guns around? Perish the thought!

            You're going to pick up some cheap protein by hunting? That's OK. The deer will die one way or another; you might as well eat them as well. Just keep the gun and ammo locked in a safe when it's not hunting season. And six-round magazines at most. And no hand guns (what kind of idiot goes hunting with a pistol anyway?) And no semi-automatics. The deer don't shoot back, you know. Or perhaps you didn't. You're that deep in fantasy land.

            You're going to.... what? Sorry, ran out of excuses for you, and I was really straining at it, too.

            And you're going to ban "violence pornograpy"? Some of it is already banned, you might note. The rest of what you might care to characterize in that way falls under something called the First Amendment. I guess it's true what they say, for gun nuts, all the amendments can go but the Second. Might be more efficient to get rid of the Second, though. Just sayin'.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:03:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  um, yeah, I'd be fine with that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fieldswithoutfences
            Do you want to copy those other countries by limiting civilian access to guns the way they do?
            Um, yeah, I'd be fine with that given it was an actual reality... oh, wait it was, like when the Brady bill was in effect and certain automatic weaposn were banned, up until somwone who shares your views, George W. Bush let the law lapse... so, yeah kinda been there done that on the whole "limiting civilian access" to guns thing, and it worked rather well until it was let lapse, except for you "gun enthusiasts", that musta really smart, huh? Still butt hurt over that, are we? That's why you feel you need to "get even" we the geeks of the video game crowd, "an eye for an eye", some kinda sick twisted logic that if you have to loose you "toys" over people have to, despite there only being a reason for you guys to do so?

            So, yeah, with people like you and your talk, its pretty obvjious you really don't give a shit about the false rhetoric you people put out against "violence" in media (more like gun porn, if you ask me,), this is all about you poor souls feeling all butt hurt and feeling screwed over and trying to find the weaker group of people to try to screw over. You've pretty much just admited to this right here, as did quite a few people commenting on this diary... ah, poor gun enthusiasts you down trodden people, .... booohoooo-hooooo...

            Or do you want to preserve our unique gun culture
            No, I don't, I really don't though it kinda seems your next comment against video games, uh... don't games with realistic firearms "preserve your unique gun culture"?
            eliminating the violence pornography
            don't you mean gun pornography? You'd rather "preserve you gun culture" while at the asame time try to eliminate theat very same culture in the virtual world? Oh, second amendment rights apparently don't spread to viitrual people, I guess, or you don't support fully the seond amendment one could argue.
            •  I like to argue too (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike Kahlow

              But it's kind of funny that I'm getting raged on here for being a gun fanboy, when in fact just last week I was getting raged on by the RKBA group for being a second-amendment-violator. Really, I promise, when I asked people to choose between our unique gun culture and the right to entertain ourselves with insane violence porn, I wasn't hoping that people would choose the guns. I myself spend a large percentage of my free time playing games like Oblivion. Since I don't own any medieval edged weapons, I'm confident that the strange ideas it puts in my head won't turn into inappropriate actions in the real world. :)

              •  Perhaps its the way you frame your arguements. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fieldswithoutfences

                Which, if i may speak frankly, seems now that you added this information in the mix, like your kinda doing that on purpose, like you are purposely trying to get both sides of an argument to "rage" against you by framing it more towards one way with one crownd than with another. Why exactly you would be doing that other than like you said, you like to argue, I don't know, but even so, you're still suing the frame that anti-video game proponents or movies, etc, use by using terms like "violence porn"... you don't see, as a gamer you claim to be, how inflamtory this term is? Really?

                Again, and hey, this is where I'm guaranteeing I will get aged on, possibly even by you, but if you ask me, the term "violence porn" does fit perfectly with that piece of literature, the bible, though. No one piece of media has done more killing in the human race than that one single text. This will no doubt get me raged upon for sure. But it true, and raging me on that doesn't make it any less true.

                •  Pro-porn people also call porn porn. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not trying to get anyone to rage at me. I was trying to point out the hypocrisy of saying that you can't blame violent video games, because they watch them in Japan without being inspired to shoot lots of schoolkids, without mentioning that Japan differs from the US in having some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. To argue that video games don't cause people to shoot other people because in a society where it's almost impossible to get ahold of a gun, people who play video games don't shoot people, is simply absurd.

                  •  I was follwing you and you had me until the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Fieldswithoutfences

                    last part or your reply.

                    To argue that video games don't cause people to shoot other people because in a society where it's almost impossible to get ahold of a gun, people who play video games don't shoot people, is simply absurd.
                    yeah, uh, no, what you just said here is absurd, and here's why:
                    without mentioning that Japan differs from the US in having some of the strictest gun control laws in the world
                    That's kinda the point, what don''t you get about that, you are making the point that we are that it's about the guns!!!!

                    Stricter gun ccontrol laws leads to less gun violence, comprende?

                    That is why we are calling for stricter gun control, the games have nothing to this and are a red herring, and if you have an argument that runs contrary with facts to back it up, have at it, and make that case.

                    It's weird because you seemed to be really confused on this being that you are claiming that you are a gamer, and play violent games like Elder scrolls games, and yet you insist that those games are fine because you don't have swords or simular things in your house? Alot of people do, I know many people who have various japanese swords, european, but any cutlery,like knives would do, and guess what, violent video games in either US, Japan or elsewhere aren't driving people to mass stabbings.

                    So if you want to claim a link then have at it and make your best case, but so far, you haven't made much oif a case at all other than claiming something is absurd simply because you believe in the opposite.

          •  There is no data to backup your argument. (0+ / 0-)

            Plain and simple there is no scientific data that shows a causal relationship between video games and violent behavior, period.

            Remember a few years back when some peewee hockey parents got into a fight over their kids game and one beat the other to death in the parking lot? That doesn't happen in video games yet their is no discussion of athletic sports promoting or causing violent behavior. This is because sports are an older and therefore more widely accepted activity, whereas video games are an emerging art form which is always either feared or misunderstood (or both in this instance) by the public at large. This happened with things like Opera, Jane Austen novels and the rise of musical genres like Jazz and Blues. This has happened throughout history and is continuing today with the demonization or new art forms such as video games.

            The rest of your post seems to prove my point by acknowledging that our insane and under regulated gun culture is the real problem.

            Also this whole notion of "violence porn" is ridiculous, millions of people all over the world (including where they have access to guns) play these games and lead perfectly normal lives, one again there is no evidence that shows a relationship between violent games and violent behavior.

            I've played Oblivion as well and at no point did I ever feel the urge to kill someone with a medieval weapon, just like playing GTA doesn't make me want to commit crimes and watching apocalypse now doesn't make me want to become a warlord in Cambodia.

            With the release and success of games like Skyrim and series like HBO's Game of Thrones, both of which are very violent, why aren't more people ordering medieval weapons off the Internet and committing mass murder with them? If your logic was correct we would see headlines like "disgruntled employee beheads former employer with German long sword". Yet for some reason this NEVER happens.

            Lets talk about Latin America: Guns, including high powered assault rifles are readily available on the black market due to our "unique gun culture" that is flooding the black markets down south and is responsible for the deaths of thousands upon thousands in Mexico especially. At least kids in Latin America are safer in their schools than ours, and if one of their children is hurt by gun violence they don't defend the "gun culture".

            "compensate for that by eliminating the violence pornography that teaches kids ideas that are bad to have in your mind when there's a real gun in your hand?"

            I'd really like to see data that proves "violence pornography that teaches kids ideas that are bad to have in mind"

            First of all, why is this child holding a gun at all? There's no reason any kid should hold a gun ever, so this point doesn't really make any sense to me. Secondly there is still no evidence that displays a link between games and violence so your argument isn't particularly valid in this instance.

            Not to mention your argument completely ignores history. What about all the school shootings in the seventies? Does "Pong" also promote violence? What about the 80s? Is Pac-Man violence porn? Is Donkey Kong? What about that insane man who bombed a school in 1926, did a matinee viewing of "Phantom of the Opera" cause this? Does Lon Chaney encourage violent behavior?

            Ridiculous.

            Your argument ignores history and is bereft of both facts and logic. Please come back when you have actual factual data instead of straw men.

      •  Your impressions.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....versus worldwide data and a large number of specialist studies.

        Your impressions lose.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:45:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When did you stop beating your wife, Mark? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fieldswithoutfences

        Oh, I'm sorry, did I frame a response to you in a completely dirty and dastardly stupid way?

        Now you know why your comment as a whole, but especially how you opened it up is completely wrong, anger filled and stupid.

        sagesource said nothing of the kind, and yet you respond back like a jerk as though she/he did, you especially and delisiously (and that's how we know who's got there back up on this) completely ignored the points sage made because you know you have no valid arguement to make against them, so you have to lower yourself to the lowest common denomtaor of responding in the worst kind just to what... did you think you could "win" the arguement with a stupid comment like that?

        You strawmaned your ass off with this, man.

        And even though Meteorblades reminds people to not address stramen in debates on this site, I feel I can do so by simply blowing more holes in yonder strawman.

        Ratings are there for a reason. generetic/nonspecific 9yr olds shouldn't be sitting in front of an M-rated game any more than an R-rated movie or a TV-MA rated show. It's weird that people like you focus on "realistic-looking people with a virtual glock or assault rifle" as opposed to real people with those real glocks, like in movies and TV and sure, you'll say something back like you are opposed to other violent media too, well, except literature, I'm pretty sure people like you are just fine with violent literature, especially the greatest work of fictional violence ever created, the Bible, but hey, that's an argument for anothertime, right?

        Can't be bothered spending time denouncing all the hypocracy of people who follow a faith based on organizaed religion and the body counts through the ages of their violent acts, now can we?

        Can you maybe consider why most parents would have reservations about their kid sharing a classroom with some poorly-parented kid
        Can you maybe consider why some parnets would want their kids hsaring a room with a kid parented by you?

        Oh, just wait, I'll exaplain...

        See, now you're trying to thinly skate on the very deep deep topic of "bad parenting" you are taking a very shallowed approach to what is a very deep and complex discussion, all of which is very subjective to the people having the discussion and varies from person to person, what you consdier "bad-parneting" is maybe not what I or others may consider, and I may consider what you allow your kids to be exposed to (hate filled rants much like this, country music, cable news) to be bad parents, and if you really want yo have a "parnet pissing contest" to see who can have the most objections having their kid exposed to a kid parenteed by someone the other parent thinks is a cxomplete fucking pyscho, have at it hoss, itf you think it makes you feel better.

        I can tell you right now having read  alot of your posts in the past calender year posted here with your centrist points of veiw, if I was so petty, I wouldn't let my kid eithin the same state as you.

        Now, if that's where you want to take this line of thinking... there, I've taken it there.

        666games
        What the hell is 666 games? Now it sounds like your just rambling and starting to make even less sense.
        watches extremely graphic horror flicks
        obviously, that's not the thing for everyone, but I know quite a few people who grew up watch movies in the horror genre, and they grew up to be some of the most creative and taleted people in various factions of the entertainment industry, mayn of them got into making these such of films, and were inspired to go to film school and start their careers through their love of that genre. Hell, pretty much everone indulges into horror at least once a year around Halloween, and many of the effects that go into things like Haunted attractions and hayrides get there start from the practical effects business for films.

        Man, you just seem to love knocking anything you don't like and aren't into just for the sake of knocking them without putting much forethought in the blabble that comes out of your mouth.

        Especially when you consider how available weapons are in this country?
        That's kind of the point, Eistein, something sage brough up in the very post you are replying to, and yet ignored throughout all this,   it is more or less the guns and access to them, and other nations have much more violent content, including content aimed at younger audeiences than what passes off here, and yet you do not see this violence in other nations, hell, even in Canada that actually has guns and the same violent content, this issue of gun violence is one of being "uniquly American" and also, in part one of perception since crime statitcs have shwon drops in violent crimes for decades now, we didn't have 24-hr "news" vultures trying to push the narative of how evil Amerikka now is, and we also didn't have before blogs like this ten years ago, that if I might say, all these dairies of Newtown of the recent few days, rather distateful as the families have all said they wanted to be left alone and further didn't want those calls released, and yet the media and people on here cheering for themedia to get ahold of those tapes... its things like that that disgust me mor than anyt Hollywood movie ever could.
        The people who defend violent video games remind me of the people who defend the meat industry selling that ammonia-sprayed pink slime to consumers--their reasoning isn't very different.    
        Dude, seriously? Well, there goes that "we can disagree without being disagreeable" bullshit to many rednecky commentors were leaving in the comments in this diary, mainly because they agree with the diary, didn't see anyone saying that that disageed with the dairy as awhole... but this last comment is why  I cam out being "disagreeable"...

        Fisrtly, that analogy doesn't even make any sense? One if a form of art and entertainment, a form of expression, and the other is ... well.... I wouldn't even call it a "consumable" or a "product"... more like bad business practices in trying to sell and market a consumable, ie, food.

        They are near literally apples and oranges, you can't even remotely make an apt comparision to the two, especially when you are amiing assumptions about how pro-speeech and pro gaming people feel on others issues like food safety and GMO labeling, etc, which I'll remind you, there are a slew of idiots on this very website against GMO labeling and made a big push to kill the proposition in California, all the whilke "calling" themselves progressive, and then crowing the next day, I could dig out the diaries if I really felt like doing so, about the crowing that the opponents of GMO labeling wnet on and on about... and yet, where exaactly is your scorn for those such people? I don't see you in recent days bemoaning those views, but I do see you trying to smear people who have a disagreeance with you on media content as some how being pro-pink slime now?

        Are the only arguments you know how to make are false strawmen?

        •  I started to post (4+ / 0-)

          a long rebuttal and FU to this faceplant of a post, but deleted it because I regret how much the comments of OJP's excellent diary have already been derailed by this subthread.

          Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

          by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:28:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  uh-huh ... suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fieldswithoutfences
            but deleted it because I regret how much the comments of OJP's excellent diary have already been derailed by this subthread.
            suuuuurrrre that's why, I'm sure it has nothing to do with you have no valid counter-counterpoints or that all you do have is ad hominemn/strawmen arguements, and that you want to call me every name under the book while trying to claim you're all about peace and non-violence, I'm sure
            that
            has nothing to do at all why you deleteled whatever you were going to.
            and FU to this faceplant of a post,
            FU? You wanted to tell me to "FU" and yet you clamim you are on the side of peace and non-agression? Tsk, tsk, tsk. For shame.

            Also, While I agree your reply to sage source was  quite a bit of a faceplant, you shouldn't go so hard on your self... even if you realize how much your post may "suck"... "Embrace teh suck"!!!! That now is the mantra of the Democratic Party now, right?

            ROTFLMAO!!!!

            On a serious note, I could lower myself as much as you have done, as you can see here, and bit just as every bit as childish and infantile as you, or I can actually hold a conversation as I had started in the previous reply to you. You choose to ignore my counterpoints. okay, well,  I guess there can be no further constructive dialogue here.

            Oh and...

            regret how much the comments of OJP's excellent diary have already been derailed by this subthread.
            Well, that's not being truthful now is it?

            Discussing vidoe games and violent media, that is now derailing this diary, a diary that no matter how you slice it, still comes off to pro-RKBA/firearms for me, and yet its you will all those tags on the profile, and I'm further to the left on this than you are, and it does question the sincerity of your anti-NRA, reapeal 2nd amd. tags, and it seems here, you are betraying that "bonafides" oh wait, you have hunting and fishing tags... hmmmmm, I think you want to eat your cake and eat it too, either you for for repealing the 2nd amendment or you are for upholding it atleast for hunting purposes, you can't have it both ways, but putting that aisde, the diarist himself brought up violent media and video games,  its not deraling anything , unless you are also accusing the diarist of deraling his own diary.

            You can't mention something, epsecially

            blame
            something in adiary and not have people talk about it, andits quite a ridiculous accusation that you made that its derailing anything, especially after you got to have your two cents heard on the meteer and now wish to deny others theirs especially if it differes from your two cents, and again, you're looking like nothing but infantiile doing that.
  •  As a gun owner (13+ / 0-)

    I fully believe that comprehensive, meaningful, effective gun laws are absolutely crucial to responsible gun ownership.

    I think the NRA is a terrorist organization.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:01:50 AM PST

  •  Your new perceptions struck a cord with me. NBC (10+ / 0-)

    ran the list of over 100 children under age 12 who had been killed by guns since Sandy Hook on the evening news last night.  The latest death on that list is a little boy in our town. He was only three years old when he pulled his Dad's loaded gun off the kitchen counter.  In the interviews with neighbors in the media reports the cause of death was listed as the child shot himself.  I was appalled that the traditional "blame the victim" was used for the death of this Baby. When NRA and their supporters start putting the blame on the careless gun owners, we may begin to make progress.  

  •  That diary a year ago (14+ / 0-)

    It was totally excellent, and more than worthy of the response it got. This one ranks right up there next to it. We should all carry that rough edged, chafing, talisman; gun owner or not, to keep us awake and feeling to the issue until progress is made.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:11:49 AM PST

  •  thanks for (5+ / 0-)

    writing.
    Small short conversation at my house last night:
    "Jesus, another school shooting. Why won't the government do something about this?"
    "The Federal government? They can't. The states make the laws"
    "Yeah, I guess the people want things the way they are now, or they wouldn't a voted how they did".

    So there is a dead lock and nothing can be done? Other countries have a different mechanism for preventing chaos?

    At our house we have gotten nowhere in thinking this out.

    Me: Small town boy, now at a Texas border village after 35 years in big cities. Own a pistol and a deer rifle.

    Sig Other: Here on the border after 63 years in rough parts of St Louis, thinks owning a gun is irrational after witnessing decades of shootings in her city.

    I don't know what it will take, honestly. I think it's hopeless.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:14:18 AM PST

    •  Well Written Diary-Is It Exceptionalism? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldJackPine, Mike Kahlow
      So there is a dead lock and nothing can be done? Other countries have a different mechanism for preventing chaos?
      [snip]
      I don't know what it will take, honestly. I think it's hopeless.
      I think that the "American exceptionalism" meme that pervades our conversations may be preventing a hard and critical look at our culture. Think how this culture allows indifference to quickly cloud the etch-a-sketch after an event like Newtown clarifies our desire to live with far less violence, and, in particular, the heedless slaughter of children and young people by firearms.

      What is it?
      Our seeming worship of materialism?

      Some other distraction?

      Letting (often irrational) fear rule as a decision point?

      Allowing greed to run rampant without reflection from the media, traditional or otherwise?

      Churches going public and political with obsessions about their fears of social deterioration, instead of concentrating on these issues among their own believers?

      Maybe we fear a cultural self-examination because so many have a sense that it involves us, and we might have to do better?

      "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor." ~ Pope Francis

      by paz3 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:57:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said, sir. (11+ / 0-)

    The difficulty in finding a solution does not preclude us from trying to find one.

  •  Thank you!!! (13+ / 0-)

    I love this part:

    And I remind myself that the law is in place out of an abundance of caution and recognition for the precious cargo that the bus is carrying. So I smile and wave at the bus driver when she lets me pass, and I get to work two minutes later than I would have otherwise.  We should work towards gun laws that are similarly configured, out of an abundance of caution and recognition of the preciousness of schoolchildren.
    Beautiful reflection, thank you for sharing. And for not forgetting.

    Maybe - just maybe - our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we're all in the same boat now. - Rep. John Lewis

    by bluesheep on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:31:04 AM PST

  •  Excellent, thoughftul diary (11+ / 0-)

    That was beautifully written.

    I'm not a gun owner but I share your frustrations.

    I think of all the times I've been in danger and how much worse it would have been if I had a gun at those times. Not one of them would have been less dangerous if I had been armed.

    When that thought crosses my mind the hair on the back of my neck stands on end.

    I don't know what the answer is, but I think these lines sum up my thoughts quite eloquently:

    We gun users have the most ground to give. I am fed up with the belligerence.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:48:58 AM PST

  •  Excellent, but left out one thing (9+ / 0-)

    This is a very thoughtful, concise diary that is very much in line with my own views. I'd like to add one thing though: although there are a few single issue stubborn people weighing in against gun safety laws, most are part of the group of reality deniers on many issues. The first step is to get such people to acknowledge facts. Until that step is taken, nothing else can be done. We've tried just humoring them and it ain't working. This is a lot easier said than done, but to paraphrase JFK, problems created by people can be solved by them.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:53:55 AM PST

  •  I come from a long line of gun owners (6+ / 0-)

    in my family. I don't currently own a gun in my home, and reason will follow. But I remember my father taking me out, I was 8, for the first time to teach me about guns. I'm actually a damn good shot it turns out. Spent hours out there teaching me how to hold it, load it, target, shoot. As we got close to being done a rabbit showed up and my father pointed to it, and told me to shoot it. I couldn't. Hello, I was 8 years old, I still envisioned the Easter Bunny bringing me a basket of goodies! But it was a poignant lesson as he didn't really expect me to do it, and I didn't. It was a lesson to me that guns are not toys, that lives can be lost.  That once you do it, you can't undo it.

    We send our kids through weeks of training to drive a motor vehicle that can be just as deadly as any gun, in some cases, more so. Why oh why do we not push for more education in relation to gun ownership? In fact, in direct response to the Newtown shooting, Texas DROPPED it's education hours required for CCW. This made my mind boggle. I don't understand why mandatory education isn't in place for gun owners, and test them for gun registration.

    The other half is the mental illness issue, which is why I don't have a gun in my home. My daughter is bipolar, adhd, and oppositional defiance disorder. Could she go nuts with a knife? Sure. But I'm not going to make it easy for her with a gun in my home. If there isn't one here, then she doesn't have access to it. These are things a responsible parent thinks through. If you lock up your guns, make sure it's a combination lock to get to them, and change it often (you'd be surprised how often my kids know my passwords and combinations for my iPhone). We need to take the stigma out of having something mentally wrong with us, because seriously, is there a single one of us who has not experienced some dramatic episode in our life at least once? Normal is severely overrated and I've yet to meet a human who would truly be considered normal.

    And then the last bit is the gangs. We need to put the teeth back into the laws on the books already in place and enforce them heavily. NRA be damned, the fact is our country put those laws into place and it's never been more important to enforce them and get some control back and less fear in sending our kids to school.

    I think it's a multi-pronged issue that we have to recognize and push for: education, awareness and enforcement.

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:11:03 AM PST

  •  I started shooting guns when I was six (9+ / 0-)

    under my dad's close supervision (he was a career Marine and a competitive marksman). My brothers and I continued to shoot when we were in elementary school. I left home for boarding school when I was 14, but my brothers still shot sometimes. When I was 20, my dad died and my family pretty much disintegrated.

    I haven't fired a gun since I left home. I decided long ago I didn't like killing animals. I'm the oldest; my next-oldest brother inherited all of my dad's guns, and he also served in the Marines. Strangely enough, although my brother hunts, he decided that he wasn't interested in using guns to do so: he bow hunts.

    For some reason, none of us really became interested in guns, and as far as I know, there is a box of my dad's old rifles, shotguns, and his 45-cal handgun sitting, cleaned and covered in grease, in my brother's garage.

    My childhood experiences in shooting has made me receptive and understanding about why some people might enjoy it. Hell, people enjoy watching competitive sports, which is another whole area of endeavor I have no interest in.

    What I really don't understand at all is people who are obsessed not only with guns, but with trying to convert people into gun obsessives. I mean, guns exist, they do basically one thing. What they do can be incredibly useful in some cases, interesting in others, and useless or dangerous in many. There's nothing magic or sacred or inherently interesting about guns. We should be able to take them or leave them, like screwdrivers or chain saws.

    The other painfully obvious thing about guns is that there seem to be a lot of people who handle guns on a regular basis without respecting them or really knowing anything about them. That's about like handling a chain saw or a poisonous snake without respecting it or knowing anything about it, in my view.

  •  The silence (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tgrshark13, coquiero, 88kathy

    from one corner is deafening.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:40:16 AM PST

  •  A cowboy, his horse and his gun.. (5+ / 0-)

    ..with a cigarette dangling seductively from his lips..

    The NRA and its allies have constructed a fortress to enshrine their vision of US gun policy. It will not be breached with the regulatory equivalent of a battering ram. Progressives tried that after Sandy Hook and failed.
    ..everything that every young man thought he sould aspire to be like.

    Clint Eastwood: 'High Plains Drifter'.  'Two mules for Sister Sarah"

    It took a lot of time and effort but we broke that Big tobacco stereotype down; like an old man talking to a chair.

    So when you say:

    I wish I had some wisdom to offer.
    I have to push back on that. I think you've laid things out just the way they should be.
    So when the flashers go on and I watch the children board the bus from the far left side of the road, my analytical impatient id grouses and knows that I could drive past that bus and that the probability of encountering a child on my side of the road would be vanishingly small. Yet the law tells me I must stop. So I do. And I remind myself that the law is in place out of an abundance of caution and recognition for the precious cargo that the bus is carrying. So I smile and wave at the bus driver when she lets me pass, and I get to work two minutes later than I would have otherwise.  We should work towards gun laws that are similarly configured, out of an abundance of caution and recognition of the preciousness of schoolchildren.

    Perfect

    Seeing the real and leaving the movie fantasy where it belongs. In the movies

    Thx OldJackPine for your thoughts on this

  •  I think children may be able to do what adults (4+ / 0-)

    can't. When my 5 year old begged me over and over to stop smoking, I did. And I still don't smoke. We need the same kind of educational campaign targeted at kids that we had for smoking. If children beg their parents to get rid of their guns many of them will.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:06:54 AM PST

  •  Well said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine, greengemini, Amber6541

    and more important, well thought-out. I like the idea of experimenting till we find a formula that works.

    The real problem isn't gun owners. Most gun owners want reasonable restrictions of one sort or another.

    The problem once again is money and power in politics.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:08:34 AM PST

  •  This Is The One I Was Looking For (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine, ladybug53, WakeUpNeo

    I've been sitting here all day trying to fight off all my conflicted feelings about the Newtown tragedy which ranged from trying to just ignore it to just breaking down and having a good cry. I didn't even know what I thought about it anymore but you managed to express it perfectly. Like you I have been around guns all my life but never thought I'd see the kind of violence, tragedy and just plain carelessness this country is awash in today. And we must find ways to logically, reasonably, and calmly try to eliminate the hysteria on both sides and try to get people to understand that as it stands now we have far more gun rights in this nation than we have gun sense and responsibility to go with them. Maybe we can start there and also get people to understand it is our own fear that makes us so armed and dangerous.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:19:16 AM PST

  •  Well said. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine, ladybug53, WakeUpNeo

    A remarkable diary. Thank you.

  •  Money, money, money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, ladybug53

    Everything in this country is money - making it, keeping it, and using it to fuck other people over or kill them.  

    There is NO reason for the lack of regulations other than the desire to keep power so the power can keep the money.    

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:42:25 AM PST

  •  Mothers Against Drunk Driving (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, 88kathy, WakeUpNeo

    had a big impact on our nation's casual attitude toward drinking and driving.

    I suspect it will take a similar grass-roots movement to counter our legislators' fear of the NRA.

    Thanks for your thoughts OJP. You have a gift for words.

    "...a culture that celebrates and sanitizes violence."

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:11:21 PM PST

  •  What do you mean by this "Don’t stigmatize."? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine

    "Mental illness? Don’t stigmatize."

    While I might roll my eyes and facepalm over once again people like you beating a dead horse about violent media again, viode games, or all media,  (which mysteriously people like yourself leaves out the Bible, btw)

    What are you saying, we should stigmitize? Wow... how far this site has fallen with some many rednecky people with very conservative mindsets on things like this.

    Mental illness? Don’t stigmatize.  And lest you dismiss my comments as an intellectually lazy appeal to false equivalencies, know that I have a deep empathy for those who struggle with mental illness and a deep antipathy for those who assert that their rights to free and easy weapons trumps the right of the rest of us to a safe and civil society. We gun users have the most ground to give. I am fed up with the belligerence.
    Oh, I lest. I lest my ass off, because that's exactkly what you are doing, being  intellectually lazy to appeal to false equivalencies, or else you wouldn't have brought it up toin advance to try to staive off comments that you are doing exactly that.

    It amazes me gun nuts WANT there to be a false equalvency so that they don't feel so bad if someone were to take there guns away, which, btw, is never going to happen even if people on my side might be in faovr of that, I, however and in favor or working on laws that can work within the system of the second amendment and Heller.

    I have a deep empathy for those who struggle with mental illness
    smiling why shaming my head no

    No, you don't, don't try to troll concern over something while clearly then going aginst that notion be trying to drag off the false equalovency that somehow people with mental illnesses should be punished for the "sins" of gun owners... helll, you entrie diary wreaks of naliing yourself on the cross, bigtime.

    unless we are mature enough for self reflection and generous enough to put our interests in the balance for the sake of our communities.
    yeah, funny, you say that but quite clearly don't practice what you preach.
    •  I'm sorry. (5+ / 0-)

      I certainly did not mean to make an argument that we should stigmatize people who are mentally ill. I see how it could be read that way.

      I meant it as an example of how a discussion gets shut down when people get defensive.

      We agree here:

      I, however and in favor or working on laws that can work within the system of the second amendment and Heller.
      But there is something other than the simple fact of access to guns that compels somebody to shoot up an elementary school. I don't think its a stretch to argue that school shooting are symptoms of a sick culture and a sick individual, sometimes more one than the other.

      Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

      by OldJackPine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:57:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't thikn it's that simple. (0+ / 0-)

        The issue of violence, gun violence in particular crime, aetc, they are all very deep and complex issues, not something you can narrow it down to a small set bumper sticker slogans, especially parts of society that one doesn't like and then feels like they can use that as anexcuse to fially "tar and feather" for the lack of a better term  something that they don't understand for the "feel good moment" and its dairyies like your that still hawks that essence of kneejerkism to do whatever "feels" good, to mkae you feel like your helping, especially when you are trying to purposely hide your own indrescetions (ie, your pro-firearm stance) in the wake of what you can break down more simply as the fact that gun violence is commited by guns, now even if I wanted to strip all guns away from people like you, which I don't, but even if I di I know there is no way that could end other than armed conflict and the end of the nation morst likely.

        I don't think its a stretch to argue that school shooting are symptoms of a sick culture and a sick individual, sometimes more one than the other.
        What sick culture? Again, people like you, who watch  a wee too much cable "news" are buying into this narrative that now, since Newtown we are some how a "sick society", a whitebread school in a whitebread town, but somehow people like you have been ignoring all the gun violence to old and young alike happening  in more "urban" areas (ie, black) and places out side schools.

        Is a child's life worth less if she is shot outside of school in a blck neighborhood coming hom from school in the city that a mostly white subanite school classroom? Gun shooting have been going on for much longer than Newtown, much longer than the "white guilt" and "white privaledged" have been dealing with it, which is only recently, and it comes off insincere and trolll concerning to write up posts like  diary you written here, especially while balming everything lese other than guns and your "gun culture" which you do not directly deal with at all in your post, just video game culture, which again, its weird how you pro-second amendment people are only pro-second amenddement in the real world, and you'd much rather get rid of virtual guns than real guns, wihich is driving down your appaewarecne of looking like anythign remotely sincere.

        I posted to a complete idiot this morning who was going on about various aspects of "the black" culture and rap, and bling, etc, are the blames for today's "ills", firstly, I'm not seeeing how Amerikkan soceity is all of a sudden so "ill" or "sick", only the wachadoodle perception that it is from people watching to mch bs cable TV, as the statitcs don't bear that out, violent crime has been going down through the decades, and if you making claims that today's society is so sick... in comparision to what? What time period in amerikka's  short near 300 years have been so much better in regards to violence that you'd like to go back to?

        Would you like to go back to the ages of slavery or Jim crow, the ages of when children didn't have to worry about if they were killed in classrooms, because they were option used in sweat shops, ala child labor?

        Those years of decades gone by, those are the "sick" days of America, or other first world nations for that matter.

        •  Your comment is over the line. (4+ / 0-)

          The diarist wrote none of what you contend he wrote. It's not a troll diary, and to suggest that the diarist is a supporter of slavery or child labor is unacceptable.

          •  Um, no YOUR comment is over the line (0+ / 0-)

            And it is YOU who are suggesting things that I did not say. Bone up on your reading comprehension, bud.

            Feel free to disagree/quote with anything I've said here, and we'll gladly continue this "discussion" from here, otherwise, it looks like you are the troll, trolling my post without actually making any specifics to what you claim.

            grabs the popcorn

            now this should be fun.

            Have at it, your second chance to clrfiy what you mean.

            •  Sorry, I'm not going to engage you. (5+ / 0-)

              And I'm not going toss insults at you, or ad hominem, or engage you in the way other than to point out that you're not encouraging civil discourse.

              Have a nice day.

              •  But you already did engage me, no take backs. (0+ / 0-)

                Really, do people like yourself listen to yourself... are you just replying to me because you thought I wasn't logged on and wouldn't read your hostile comment so quickly?

                YOU just ENGAGED me, by responding to me twice, I had never spoken to you once in this threa until you approqached me, let's get that straight right now.

                And then YOU back off when you realise you have no argument, and aren't going to "win" any argument against me, I ask you to cite specifcs, and then you cower and run away, on the internet that's known as a "hit and run" post, and seems like I get them alot latel, because people can't believe I have the nerve to disagree with them and back up my disagrreements with valid counterpoints.

                I find it very odd and wieird that you'd engage me and make accusations the way you did, and tehn cower back into your hole when I call you out on it, and then claim, I'm the one not being civil, no, I'm the only one amongst us that is being civil, by welcoming you back up your claims and to discuss this further, YOU are the one being uncivil and discouraging civility by making unfounded accusations and then not having guts to stand by what you just said and then try to claim that because I want you to give specifics, that is somehow uncivil?

                Wow... that was some great theter you just gave, glad I did have my popcorn, to bad I won't be seing more of your theter around because you won't address me.

  •  Let's not forget that the majority of gun owners (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, 88kathy, Joe Bob, OldJackPine

    favor no-loopholes background checks. The Second Amendment fetishists are a crackpot minority. The real driving force behind our wide-open gun market is not these individuals, but the gun manufacturers who spend millions every year on making sure that as many guns as possible are sold in the US, and damn the consequences, even if the consequences they are damning are dead first-graders. These sociopathic capitalists are the real bad guys in this struggle, and they don't come on this forum to argue with us. I fall prey to the temptation to argue with the vocal minority who mouth gun manufacturer propaganda here, but in fact it's pointless because they are a minority. The real problem is a broken political system that doesn't carry out the will of the majority because it's too busy carrying out the will of the rich.

  •  Hear Hear. /eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine

    * Move Sooner ~ Not Faster *

    by ArthurPoet on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:10:06 PM PST

  •  Thank you and Peace to you, OldJackPine. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine

    And also your replies in the comments.

    Being in the middle on a contentious issue is tough, and not just here in our comfortable little DKos bubble. It's easy to be on one side or the other on guns, on fracking, on GMO, on nuclear power... it's hard to have both sides going after you.

    Hats off. You handle yourself with grace and patience.

  •  Me too, Asleep at the wheel of citizenship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine

    I share your shame, how I can only recall a few of the massacres.

    I grew up with guns, served in military, took the Second Amendment for granted.... Until 15 months ago, when Hurricane Sandy I was asleep at the wheel and had not recognized how messed up our firearms law and policy had become. I am part of the problem, an uninformed, apathetic citizenry that can too easily be mislead or induced to look the other way.  

    Beautiful diary, OldJackPine.

    Thank you for it's reflection, humility, and your courage to put it out there on the page.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 10:55:56 AM PST

    •  Thank you LilithGardener (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      And thanks for the ever so gentle prodding.

      Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

      by OldJackPine on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:16:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was well worth the wait (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldJackPine

        It's a quiet, sober, engaging invitation to each of us, at least those of us who are willing, to start our thinking about gun violence at a new place.

        You very gently and persuasively modeled what it means to  start by looking in the mirror. I'm sure I'm not unique in finding that approach compelling.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:51:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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